Microsoft's Virtual Earth has released the Virtual Earth Silverlight Map Control community technology preview (CTP) which supports video, animation, and vector graphics.

Platforms now include Silverlight, AJAX, Virtual Earth Web Services (SOAP) or MapPoint Web Service (SOAP).

Watch an introductory video of Microsoft's Virtual Earth here.

Below is a list of the features and functionality of the service:

Maps for Mobile Devices

Develop mobile applications with imagery optimized for mobile devices (including the iPhone). The new features are supported in the new Virtual Earth Web Services.

Expanded Number of Rooftop Views

Virtual Earth now offers 85 million unique addresses—more than 70% of all rooftops in the U.S.

Bird's Eye1 Views and Bird's Eye Hybrid

Exclusive to Microsoft, these unique views of real-world locations provide insight into “what it's like there.”

3D Imagery

Create more realistic 3D views of buildings and landscapes.

Geocoding and Reverse Geocoding

Get the most accurate locations through integration of multiple geocoders and to provide the most relevant and accurate results.

International Geocoding

Your customers can find international addresses with more precision.

Localized Maps and Directions

Get localized driving or walking directions in 15 languages, and localized maps in Western Europe in English, French, Spanish, German, Portuguese, and Italian.

Extended International Parsing

Users will experience better match rates for addresses in Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and Puerto Rico.


Your customers can find locations using alternate and similar spellings.

New Virtual Earth Web Services

Developers can take advantage of the new Virtual Earth Web Services API, which offers static map images, direct map tile access, one-box search functionality, geocoding, reverse geocoding, and routing.

Pushpin Clustering

Provide customers the ability to zoom in to visualize a cluster of points.

Landmark-Based Routing

Provide customers in the U.S. and Canada with directions using such familiar landmarks as gas stations and fast-food restaurants.

Traffic Reports

Help your users avoid traffic jams by using traffic reports that overlay the Virtual Earth map with color-coded traffic flow visuals above the roads.

GeoRSS Feeds

Import shapes, pushpins, and polylines, with GeoRSS feeds.

Weather Integration

With 3D view, get near real-time weather and cloud formation data.